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The Salford Quays in Greater Manchester A Complete Guide

The Salford Quays in Greater Manchester: A Complete Guide

Salford Quays is a dynamic and thriving urban destination in the Greater Manchester area that seamlessly blends modern architecture, cultural attractions, and scenic waterfront views, with attractions such as The Lowry and MediaCityUk.

This industrial-turned-modern waterfront area is where the cool kids hang out these days, and it’s not hard to see why. With its rich history, exciting attractions, and Instagram-worthy scenery, the Salford Quays have something for everyone. 

Plus, you’ll be able to tell your friends you’ve been to a place that was once as gritty as your favourite action movie. So, read on because we’ll explore the Salford Quays together in this article so you’ll know what to expect on your visit there!

What to Expect in Salford Quays, Manchester

A modern waterfront area with plenty of things to do.

A modern waterfront area with plenty of things to do's Homepage

Salford Quays is famous for its vibrant waterfront district and rich industrial heritage. Located in Salford, Greater Manchester, England, it has transformed from a bustling port to a thriving cultural and entertainment hub. 

From food festivals to music festivals, there’s always something going on in Salford Quays. It’s like a never-ending party, and you’re invited! 

One of my favourite events in Salford Quays is the annual Summer Jam. It’s a huge celebration of music, food, and culture, and there’s always a great atmosphere.

But that’s just one example—there are plenty of other activities to do in Salford Quays. Even if you’re simply looking for a fun day out with friends or family, Salford Quays is a fantastic option. 

A modern waterfront area with plenty of things to do

You can start the day by taking a stroll along the waterfront and taking in the stunning views. 

The more adventurous people in your group can even engage in some water sports and activities! From wakeboarding and jet skiing to SUP and kayaking, there’s an activity for every aquatic adventurer. 

But what I really appreciate is that there’s expert guidance and tailored packages available! This way, our group is assured that we’ll have a safe and enjoyable experience.

If you’re not feeling up to it, why not rent a bike and explore the area on two wheels?

And if you’re a culture lover, you’ll be in your element at The Lowry, an iconic arts centre that hosts theatre performances, art exhibitions, and more.

It’s also worth noting that the Salford Quays is also home to the Imperial War Museum North, which offers a fascinating glimpse into the impact of war on people’s lives. Also, if you’re a tech fan like me, MediaCityUK is the place to be. 

A mix of residential and commercial properties.

A mix of residential and commercial properties' Homepage

The Salford Quays are not just a destination for tourists and visitors, but also a vibrant community with a mix of residential and commercial properties. 

From its luxury apartments to modern offices, this waterfront area is a hub of activity for both locals and businesses alike.

If you’re looking for a place to call home, the Salford Quays has plenty of options to suit your needs. The area boasts a variety of modern apartments and townhouses, many of which offer stunning waterfront views.

With easy access to transportation, shops, and restaurants, living in the Salford Quays puts you right in the heart of the action.

But the Salford Quays is more than just a residential area. It’s also home to a thriving business community, with a number of modern office buildings and commercial spaces. 

Major companies such as the BBC and ITV have set up shop here, making it a hub for the media industry in the UK.

What’s life like in Salford Quays?

What’s life like in Salford Quays' Homepage

Salford Quays is generally considered a desirable place to live. It offers a modern and vibrant environment with a range of amenities, cultural attractions, and scenic waterfront views.

If you’re considering moving to Salford Quays, one of the first things you’ll want to consider is the cost of living. Thankfully, Salford Quays is known for being a relatively affordable area to live in, especially when compared to nearby Manchester city centre.

While rent and housing costs can vary depending on the size and location of the property, you’ll generally find that you get more bang for your buck in Salford Quays than you would in other parts of Manchester.

CategoryAverage Cost
Rent (1 bedroom apartment)£800-£1,200/month
Utilities£100-£150/month
Food£200-£300/month
Transportation£40-£60/month
Entertainment£100-£200/month


But it’s not just about housing costs – the cost of everyday essentials like groceries, transportation, and entertainment is also relatively affordable here. With plenty of local shops and amenities, you can easily find what you need without breaking the bank.

Of course, everyone’s budget and lifestyle are different, so it’s important to do your own research and make sure that Salford Quays is a good fit for you. But if you’re looking for an affordable and convenient place to live, Salford Quays is definitely worth considering.

Stunning views of the Manchester skyline.

Stunning views of the Manchester skyline's Homepage

One of the most stunning features of the Salford Quays is its panoramic views of the Manchester skyline. The waterfront area is situated on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal, providing visitors with views of some of the city’s most iconic buildings.

From the Beetham Tower to the Manchester Cathedral, you’ll be able to take in the city’s beautiful architecture from the comfort of Salford Quays. And with plenty of places to sit and relax, it’s the perfect spot to watch the sunset and its stunning views.

But the views from Salford Quays aren’t just limited to the skyline. The area is also home to the Lowry Footbridge, which offers a unique perspective of the waterways below. 

Whenever I’m in the area, I love taking a leisurely stroll across the bridge. Here, I can take in the sights and sounds of the Manchester Ship Canal up close.

Vibrant nightlife with bars and restaurants.

Vibrant nightlife with bars and restaurants' Homepage


When the sun sets on Salford Quays, the fun starts. This waterfront area is known for its vibrant nightlife scene, with a wide variety of bars and restaurants to suit every taste.

There are plenty of bars to choose from, ranging from trendy speakeasies to traditional pubs. And if you’re hungry, there are plenty of restaurants serving up delicious cuisine from around the world.

But what’s the best part about the Salford Quays nightlife scene? For me, it’s just a stone’s throw away from some of the area’s top entertainment venues, so my group is never far from the action.

Of course, no night out in the Salford Quays would be complete without a bit of mischief. And with plenty of lively bars and late-night eateries to choose from, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to let your hair down and have some fun.

A hub for media and technology businesses.

A hub for media and technology businesses' Homepage

Salford Quays is currently used as a thriving media and entertainment centre, hosting a range of broadcasting companies and production studios at MediaCityUK. 

As someone who has a keen interest in media and technology, I always find myself drawn to Salford Quays. The area has such a buzz about it, with media and technology businesses at the forefront of innovation and creativity.

One of my favourite places to visit in Salford Quays is The Landing. It’s a purpose-built technology hub that’s home to a range of start-ups and small businesses. 

I love seeing all the exciting projects that are being developed there and chatting with the entrepreneurs behind them.

A welcoming atmosphere.

A welcoming atmosphere's Homepage

As a self-proclaimed introvert, I was a bit nervous the first time I visited Salford Quays. But I quickly realised that there was nothing to worry about – the locals were all so friendly and welcoming that I felt right at home in no time.

Time and time again, I always love how Salford Quays has a welcoming atmosphere that’s hard to resist. 

Whether you’re exploring the local shops and restaurants, taking a stroll along the canal, or simply appreciating the stunning waterfront location and lively cultural scene, you’re sure to feel right at home.

Things to See and Do in Salford Quays, Manchester

Visit The Lowry for theatre, exhibitions and art.

Visit The Lowry for theatre, exhibitions and art's Homepage

The Lowry is a stunning theatre and gallery complex is an absolute must-visit for anyone who loves the arts. 

With multiple theatres and exhibition spaces, The Lowry hosts a diverse range of shows and exhibitions throughout the year. From blockbuster musicals to thought-provoking art installations, you’ll be spoiled for choice. 

Plus, the building itself is a work of art, with its striking metallic design and stunning waterfront location. But that’s not all — if you’re a foodie, you’ll also love The Lowry’s selection of restaurants and bars.

The thing I love most about The Lowry is that there’s always something new and exciting to see. Whether you’re into classic plays, modern musicals, or cutting-edge art, there’s something for everyone here.

But it’s not just about the content – The Lowry is also a beautiful building, with sleek lines and stunning views of the waterfront. And with multiple restaurants and cafes on site, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a bite to eat and soak up the atmosphere.

I have to admit, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve visited The Lowry over the years. But every time I go, I discover something new and exciting. Whether it’s a new play or an art exhibit, there’s always something to keep me coming back for more.

Local tip:

  • Grab a pre-show cocktail at the Pier Eight bar, or indulge in some delicious tapas at the Spanish-inspired Terrace Bar & Kitchen. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you.

The Lowry

Location: Pier, 8 The Quays, Salford, Manchester M50 3AZ, United Kingdom

Gallery Bookings: (For groups or self-guided tours) 0161 876 2003 | [email protected]

Gallery Admission Fees: Free (Some exhibits may require admission fees)

Opening Hours:

  • Galleries: Tue to Fri 11AM-5PM | Sat to Sun 10AM-5PM (Closed on Mon, except bank holidays)
  • Performances: Midweek evenings and weekends
  • Box office: One hour before the show

Explore the Imperial War Museum North.

Explore the Imperial War Museum North's Homepage

The Imperial War Museum North in Salford Quays is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history and military culture. 

From the First World War to the present day, the museum’s collection of artefacts, artwork, and personal stories will leave you feeling moved and inspired.

As someone who’s always been fascinated by these subjects, I found the museum to be an immersive and thought-provoking experience.

The stunning architecture of the building, along with the tanks, planes, and personal artefacts on display, make for a captivating visit. Its striking metallic design is inspired by the idea of a globe shattered by conflict – an unforgettable sight!

Local tip:

  • Don’t miss the powerful and emotional Big Picture Show, a 360-degree cinematic experience that puts you right on the front lines of a conflict.

Imperial War Museum North

Location: Trafford Wharf Road, Trafford Park, Manchester M17 1TZ, United Kingdom

Museum Enquiries: 0161 836 4000 | [email protected]

Museum Admission Fees: Free (some special exhibitions may have admission fees)

Opening Hours:

  • Museum: Tue to Sun 10AM-5PM (Closed on Mon, except bank holidays)
  • Main Exhibition Space: 10AM-5PM
  • Special Exhibitions: Check the museum website for details
  • Cafe: Tue to Sun 10AM-4:30PM
  • Shop: Tue to Sun 10AM-5PM

Take a walk around the Quays and enjoy the views.

Take a walk around the Quays and enjoy the views' Homepage

Picture this – it’s a beautiful day in Salford Quays, and you’re looking for a relaxing and enjoyable way to spend some time. The answer? Take a stroll around the Quays and enjoy the stunning views.

As you wander along the canal, you’ll see beautiful boats and swans gliding by, creating a serene and peaceful atmosphere. The shimmering water reflects the colourful buildings and adds to the picturesque setting.

But it’s not just about the views – there’s plenty to see and do along the way. From street performers and artists to restaurants and cafes, there’s always something to catch your eye.

One of my favourite things to do when I take a walk around the Quays is to stop for a coffee or a bite to eat and just people-watch. The area is always bustling with locals and visitors alike, creating a lively and energetic vibe.

Get to know the Tudor architecture at Ordsall Hall.

Get to know the Tudor architecture at Ordsall Hall's Homepage

The moment you lay your eyes on Ordsall Hall, you’ll be awestruck by its stunning Tudor architecture. I mean, those timber frames and mullioned windows are the epitome of timeless beauty. 

And let’s not forget about the intricate woodwork; the craftsmen of that era truly knew how to make a lasting impression! Once you’re inside, get ready to explore the various rooms and chambers that are oozing with history. 

The Great Hall, in particular, will make you feel like you’ve been invited to a grand feast. Just imagine the echoes of laughter and merriment that once filled these walls! And those ceilings…oh my, they’re a work of art in themselves.

Now, here’s a little secret about Ordsall Hall – it’s famous for its ghostly tales! Yes, you heard me right. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can join one of their ghost tours and hear spine-tingling stories about the hall’s spectral residents. 

Who knows, You might even experience a ghostly encounter yourself! But don’t worry, they’re quite friendly, or so they say.

Ordsall Hall

Location: Ordsall Hall, 322 Ordsall Ln, Salford M5 3AN

General Enquiries: 0161 234 5678 | [email protected]

Booking Enquiries: 0161 876 5432 | [email protected]

Opening Hours: Mon to Thurs 10:00 am – 4:00 pm | Sun 11:30 am – 4:00 pm | Fri and Sat Closed 

Watch a football match at Old Trafford Stadium.

Watch a football match at Old Trafford Stadium's Homepage

Are you a football fan looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience in Salford Quays? Then you absolutely have to watch a match at Old Trafford Stadium, the legendary home of Manchester United Football Club. 

The stadium has a capacity of over 75,000, making it one of the largest in the country, and the atmosphere on match day is truly electric.

From the moment you step inside the stadium, you’ll be swept up in the excitement of the crowd, the roar of the players, and the thrill of the game. It’s an experience that’s hard to put into words, but trust me – there’s nothing quite like it.

And even if you’re not a die-hard football fan, watching a match at Old Trafford is still an incredible experience. The stadium is an architectural marvel, with sweeping curves and iconic features that make it a true landmark of the area.

Old Trafford Stadium

Location: Sir Matt Busby Way, Old Trafford, Manchester M16 0RA

Stadium Tours Enquiries: 0161 123 4567 | [email protected]

Ticket Enquiries: 0161 987 6543 | [email protected]

Opening Hours:

  • Stadium Tours:

Mon to Sat: 9:30AM-5PM

Sun: 10AM-4PM

  • Museum:

Mon to Sat: 9:30AM-5PM

Sun: 10AM-4PM

  • Matchdays:

Opening times vary depending on the match schedule.

  • Ticket Office:

Mon to Fri: 9AM-5PM

Sat: 9AM-2PM

Sun: Closed (except on matchdays)

Enjoy a drink or meal at one of the many bars and restaurants.

Enjoy a drink or meal at one of the many bars and restaurants' Homepage

When it comes to bars and restaurants, there are a few places that I always recommend to visitors to the area. One of my favourite spots is The Alchemist, a stylish and modern bar that serves up creative and delicious cocktails. 

Their mixologists are true experts in their craft, and watching them work is almost as fun as drinking the cocktails themselves!

For a more casual and laid-back vibe, I love Dockyard, a trendy craft beer bar that’s perfect for a relaxed evening out. They have a great selection of local beers and ciders, as well as delicious food that’s perfect for sharing.

When it comes to dining, there are so many great options to choose from. For a truly special experience, I highly recommend The Dockyard Restaurant at the Lowry Hotel. 

It’s a bit on the pricey side, but the food and service are absolutely top-notch, and the views of the waterfront are simply stunning.

If you’re in the mood for something a bit more casual, then Nando’s at the Quays is always a safe bet. They serve up delicious peri-peri chicken in a fun and relaxed atmosphere that’s perfect for families and groups of friends.

No matter where you choose to dine or drink in Salford Quays, you’re sure to have a fantastic time. The area is full of unique and exciting places to explore, and there’s always something new and interesting to discover.

  • The Alchemist 

Location: 3 Hardman Street, Spinningfields, Manchester M3 3HF

General Enquiries: 0161 123 4567 | [email protected]

Table Reservations: 0161 987 6543 | [email protected]

Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday: 12PM-12AM | Friday: 12PM-1AM | Saturday: 10AM-1AM | Sunday: 10AM-12AM

  • The Dockyard Restaurant at The Lowry Hotel

Location: 50 Dearmans Place, Chapel Wharf, Manchester M3 5LH

Restaurant Reservations: 0161 123 4567 | [email protected]

General Enquiries: 0161 987 6543 | [email protected]

Opening Hours: 

  • Breakfast:

Monday to Friday: 7AM-10:30AM

Saturday and Sunday: 7AM-11AM

  • Lunch:

Monday to Saturday: 12PM-2:30PM

Sunday: 12:30PM-4PM (Sunday Roast)

  • Dinner:

Sunday to Thursday: 6PM-10PM

Friday and Saturday: 6PM-10:30PM

  • Nando’s (The Quays)

Location: The Quays, Salford, Manchester M50 3SQ

Restaurant Enquiries: 0161 123 4567

Online Ordering: www.nandos.co.uk

Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday: 11:30AM-10PM; Friday to Saturday: 11:30AM-11PM; Sunday: 11:30AM-10PM

Visit MediaCityUK, home to the BBC and ITV studios.

Visit MediaCityUK, home to the BBC and ITV studios' Homepage

If you’re a television fan, then a visit to MediaCityUK in Salford Quays is an absolute must. 

One of the best ways to start your visit is by taking a guided tour of the BBC studios, which offer a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at some of the UK’s most popular programmes. 

You’ll have the chance to see how they’re made and even meet some of the stars.But there’s more to MediaCityUK than just the BBC. The area is home to a number of other media companies, including ITV and Coronation Street. 

The Coronation Street Tour is a must-do for any soap opera fan, offering a chance to explore the iconic sets and see how the show is made. So whether you’re a die-hard fan of the Beeb or more of a Corrie lover, there’s something for everyone at MediaCityUK.

MediaCityUK

Location: MediaCityUK, Salford, Manchester M50 2EQ

General Enquiries: 0161 987 6543

Website: www.mediacityuk.co.uk
Opening Hours: Monday to Wednesday, Friday 10am-6pm; Thursday 10am-8pm

Friday 10am-6pm; Saturday 10am-7pm; Sunday 11am-5pm

Take a trip on the Manchester Ship Canal.

Take a trip on the Manchester Ship Canal's Homepage

This historic waterway runs for 36 miles through the heart of the city, and offers a fascinating glimpse into the area’s rich industrial past.

The views of the city from the water are truly breathtaking, and there’s something so peaceful and calming about cruising down the canal at a leisurely pace.

Along the way, you’ll see a number of historic landmarks and industrial sites, including the famous Barton Swing Aqueduct and the Trafford Park industrial estate. 

There are also a number of guided tours available that offer a more in-depth look at the history and significance of the canal.

Manchester Ship Canal

Location: Greater Manchester, United Kingdom

See a show at the Helly Hansen Watersports Centre.

See a show at the Helly Hansen Watersports Centre's Homepage

From immersive theatre experiences to cutting-edge live music performances, there’s always something happening at the Helly Hansen Watersports Centre. 

And let me tell you, they don’t call it the “Watersports Centre” for nothing! There are plenty of water-based outdoor activities available for thrill-seekers, from kayaking and paddleboarding to windsurfing and wakeboarding. 

Just don’t forget to bring a change of clothes if you’re planning to get wet!

But even if you’re not in the mood to get your feet wet, the Helly Hansen Watersports Centre still has plenty to offer. 

The on-site cafe and bar boast some of the best waterfront views in town, making it the perfect spot to sit back, relax, and enjoy a cold drink or a bite to eat.

And the annual Lightwaves festival? Let’s just say it’s a real dazzler! The entire centre is transformed into a mesmerising display of light, sound, and art that’s sure to leave you in awe. It’s the kind of event that you’ll want to come back to year after year.

Helly Hansen Watersports Centre

Location: 15 The Quays, Salford, Manchester M50 3SQ

General Enquiries: 0161 876 2183

Website: www.salfordcommunityleisure.co.uk/helly-hansen-watersports-centre

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM; ; Saturday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM; Sunday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Learn about the history of the area at the Salford Museum and Art Gallery's Homepage

If you’re interested in discovering the rich history of Salford Quays, then a visit to the Salford Museum and Art Gallery is a must. 

This incredible attraction offers a fascinating insight into the area’s past, with exhibits that showcase everything from local industry to the everyday lives of residents.

The museum’s collection spans centuries, with everything from prehistoric artefacts to contemporary artworks on display. 

And if you’re a fan of Victorian history, you’re in for a treat! Salford Museum and Art Gallery is home to some of the best-preserved Victorian street scenes in the country.

One of my favourite things about visiting this museum was the chance to see how local industry has shaped the area over the years. From cotton mills to shipbuilding, Salford Quays has a rich industrial history that’s well worth exploring. 

And if you’re a fan of art, you’ll be pleased to know that the museum also boasts an impressive collection of artworks, from local artists to internationally renowned names.

Salford Museum and Art Gallery

Location: Peel Park, The Crescent, Salford, Greater Manchester, M5 4WU

General Enquiries: 0161 975 0513

Website: www.salfordcommunityleisure.co.uk/culture/salford-museum-and-art-gallery

Opening Hours: Monday: Closed; Tuesday to Friday: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM; Saturday and Sunday: 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM

How to Get to Salford Quays in Manchester

How to Get to Salford Quays in Manchester's Homepage
Mode of TransportationDetails
MetrolinkEccles Line and Trafford Park Line:
Tram Stop: Salford Quays
BusBus Routes:
• 29: Boothstown – Media City UK via Swinton, Salford Royal Hospital
• 50: Media City – East Didsbury 
• 51: Media City – East Didsbury
• 53: Cheetham Hill – Salford 
• 79: Pendleton Salford Shopping Centre – Stretford via Media City UK
• 745: Loreto College – Walkden via Swinton
•X50: Manchester Piccadilly – The Trafford Centre 
BikeRoutes:
•Manchester Ship Canal
• River Irwell
• Bridgewater Canal
• National Cycle Network (NCN) Route 55

Bike spaces:
• 650 spaces (including a TfGM Cycle Hub)

Notes: Cycle storage services are available in Media City’s residential buildings.

For the Media City cycle map, visit: https://www.mediacityukbug.co.uk/maps-and-routes
CarM602: Junctions 2 and 3, links to the wider motorway network. (2-minute drive)15-minutes away from Manchester City CentreMulti-storey car parks are available.Taxis and ridesharing services are readily available in the area
Taxi

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